Google hit with third EU antitrust charge, this time over ads

For those keeping count, Google is now facing three formal antitrust charges in Europe.

The latest one, filed Thursday by the European Commission, centers on the company’s advertising practices. It’s the third formal antitrust charge by the EU against Google since last year.

“Google’s magnificent innovations don’t give it the right to deny competitors the chance to innovate,” EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager reportedly said at a news conference in Brussels today.

The EU accuses Google of preventing customers of its AdSense network from placing ads with rivals, and of imposing restrictions on how websites display rival ads.

The EU also filed a “statement of objection” that’s meant to bolster another antitrust case pending against the Silicon Valley giant, brought last April, involving allegations that it favored its own shopping-comparison services in search results. Google had already responded to those charges, citing competition from Amazon and eBay in shopping search and calling the charges “wrong as a matter of fact, law, and economics.”

The other EU antitrust charge against Google is over Android, which was brought this past April. The EU accuses Google of abusing the mobile operating system’s dominance, including by requiring pre-installations of Google software and service on cellphones.

For each charge, Google faces the possibility of fines of up to 10 percent, or $7 billion, of its annual global revenue.

Regarding this latest charge, Google told various media outlets: “We believe our innovations and product improvements have increased choice for EU consumers and promote competition.” Google has 10 weeks to respond.

Google also is facing formal EU investigations but not charges — yet — into its travel and maps practices, and scraping of other publishers’ photos.

 

Photo: A sign outside Google’s Mountain View headquarters. (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)

 

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  • Rig

    Google’s response statement is so far removed from reality, they are better off not saying anything.

 
 
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